ROME, November 11. /TASS/. Doctors in Italy’s Province of Bari have reported that a dog contracted coronavirus for the first time in the country, la Repubblica reported Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, all four members of the family that have the pet were diagnosed with COVID-19. Owners themselves took swabs from their poodle and sent them to a laboratory. The first positive result was received on November 5, it was later confirmed on several occasions. It is noted that the animal does not exhibit any symptoms.
"We received a few positive results, but the virus load was very low," the newspaper quoted Bari University professor Nicola Decaro. "It means that the dog cannot infect you. Even if it is infected, the virus is present [in its body] in a small amount." Decaro underlined that "the risk of contracting the virus from dogs or cats is almost zero."
Earlier, a group of Italian vets and doctors headed by Decaro conducted a large-scale research to determine how widely the coronavirus is spread among pet dogs and cats who lives with their owners in north Italy. Overall, scientists collected biological samples of around 1,000 dogs and 500 cats. The biologists then didn’t find any traces of the coronavirus’s RNA in the animals, however, a significant number of pets had COVID-19 antibodies in their blood.